I’ve been sitting on this post and I don’t know why. Maybe because its taken me a month of just sitting with it to really be able to grasp what Interstellar is about, there are so many layers, each in their own right deserved of thorough contemplation. Problem is by the time you read this it may be out of the theaters and this is one of those movies that is best seen on the BIG screen. I tried to see the IMAX version last month with Super B but it was sold out. We waited for the crowds to die down. As the lights dimmed I felt a knot begin to form in my throat. I remember feeling this way before, sitting in a dark waiting for Avatar to begin. I still don’t know what that was about.
For the next 169 minutes I jumped, gasped, groaned, and had to stifle a lot of weeping, in other words I loved it. I suspect Super did too although I’m pretty sure he and his dad roshambo’ed to see who would take mom to see the movie. I mean how could they not want to see Interstellar, did they not LOVE Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey? Even the sequel was OK. What about Contact or even Close Encounters.
What about Contact or even Close Encounters.
I really don’t even know where to begin on this one. Its all so overwhelming, you have the story about an effort to save the world (our planet is losing oxygen and its food source), coupled with a very intimate look at the relationship between a father (who makes the ultimate sacrifice for humanity) and his young daughter. Then there is the idea of finding an exoplanet where life can begin again but these planets exist so far out there the only way to them is through a wormhole (take a piece of paper, that is the universe, you’re trying to go from one end of the paper to the other. Fold it and stick a pencil through the two surfaces, that’s your short cut (wormhole) to getting to the other side of the paper (see infographic below).
I felt this way about Inception, it got under my skin and I was hooked (same director Christopher Nolan). I obsessed in 2012 watching it repeatedly but that movie it did not have the same level of emotional impact as Interstellar. Interstellar hits where it hurts. I suppose its not too much of a stretch to see why this movie was so impactful, I too am struggling with the future. I see it much like the universe a big expansive unknown. And that part about detaching? *clutches heart* I’m not ready to let (him) go.
The movie has made me think about life on earth, who we are (do you ever get in that headspace of what it is to be a human?), why are we here on big blue marble, why do we destroy the place we call home, what does it mean to sacrifice something, how the bond of love transcends space and time, how we don’t trust what we can not see, the parent child connections, how hard it is to “detach” from people and things and how much things will change in lets say the next 100-200 years. By then all of this will be gone. I will cease to exist and this blog will become obsolete. I wish I could be around for that. I wonder if Einstein wished he had been born later so he could see his theories tested through the ages of time.
After seeing it a couple times I realize that all of these Sci-Fi movies are interconnected. Watch Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and you’ll recognize the inspiration for TARS and organ pipes! Watch 2010 The Year We Make Contact and you’ll see the familiar John Lithgow and things like black holes and event horizons. I appreciate Christopher Nolan’s nod to Kubrick and his mention of a suggested fake-lunar landing.
I took Astronomy in school and thought Carl Sagan was the father of all space stuff, back then it was Cosmos, The Pale Blue Dot and today its Five Million Years of Solitude and The Science of Interstellar. Sure I have to re-read stuff like ten times but I’m slowly understanding things like why time slows down the further down you get in a black hole.
The layers of research, scientific hypothesis and algorithm based computer visualizations behind this movie makes it unlike all the movies that have come before it. I could write a whole post JUST about Hans Zimmer and the music of Interstellar (note: the digital version has 8 MORE tracks than the actual CD, but you do get an interactive Star Chart imprinted on the CD which is just cool! (someone else has done a better job of that here). I read the director gave Hans a single piece of paper with a brief one page summary about the movie withholding what is was about or the fact that it was a science fiction piece, he stated and I paraphrase here, it was about a relationship between and man and his son. Hans withdrew from the world, holed himself up and came up with a very intimate piece called “Day One,” that song became the backbone for the score and remains one of the 24 tracks the album. For me it was like hearing Vangelis’ Chariots of Fire or Alexandre Desplat’s Tree of Life … it’s almost like a religious experience for me. I just might have to order myself the Illuminated Star Projection Edition. << updated 1/28 SOLD OUT.
So go escape from your problems for a few hours, if you cant see it make sure you block off time, turn your speakers up REAL loud and watch it when it comes out on Blu Ray in March. I promised you’ll never look up at the sky at night the same way again.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Do not go gentle into that good night – Dylan Thomas
Here are some cool sites if you’re like me completely obsessed.
Interstellar The Movie official site
Wired: Astrophysics-Interstellar – Black Holes << really great video explaining Gargantua (massive black hole)